The Race for the White House produces two things: lots of attack ads and unwitting overnight celebrities. Think Sister Souljah. Joe the Plumber. Clint Eastwood’s empty chair. The little boy who spelled “potato” without an “e,” only to have Vice President Dan Quayle helpfully “correct” him. With election season again upon us, The Washington Times continues its series remembering some of our favorite campaign one-hit wonders and asking: Where are they now?
Then: “God damn America!” Those three words were replayed ad nauseam in 2008, when video of a fiery sermon delivered by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright threatened to derail Barack Obama’s presidential aspirations. Mr. Obama, whose family had recently left Mr. Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, ultimately repudiated his former pastor and delivered a well-received, campaign-saving speech on race relations in America.
Now: Although Mr. Wright retired from his church in 2008, he remains as outspoken as ever — during a summer guest sermon at a Washington, D.C., church, he quoted Frederick Douglass on the necessity of speaking truth to power, attacked the tea party, railed against “black politicians who steal money” and seemingly encouraged blacks to be wary lest their children be brainwashed by white teachers.
Quotable: Said Mr. Wright in the same sermon, “take that baby, him or her away, from the African mother, away from the African community, away from the African experience … and put them Africans over at the breasts of Yale, Harvard, University of Chicago … UCLA or UC-Berkeley. Turn them into biscuits. Let them get that alien DNA all up inside their brain, and they will turn on their own people in defense of the ones who are keeping their own people under oppression. Sheep dogs there’s white racist DNA running through the synapses of his or her brain tissue.”
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Patrick Hruby is an award-winning journalist who holds degrees from Georgetown and Northwestern. He also contributes to ESPN.com and The Atlantic Online, and his work has been featured in The Best American Sports Writing. Follow him on Twitter (@patrick_hruby) and contact him at PatrickHruby.net.
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